Cleared former NOTW deputy editor Neil Wallis questioned further by police over hacking

Scotland Yard said Mr Wallis 'was interviewed under caution in connection with suspicion of conspiracy to illegally intercept voicemails. He was not arrested'

The former News of the World deputy editor with historic links to the highest echelons of Scotland Yard has been re-interviewed by detectives investigating phone hacking, The Independent has learnt.

Neil Wallis, the veteran tabloid newspaper executive who strongly criticised the police after he spent 19 months on bail between 2011 and 2013, was interviewed under caution three months ago.

The 63-year-old, who worked as a personal adviser to two former Met Commissioners and told the Leveson Inquiry he was a “good friend” of ex-police chief John Yates, attended a London police station by appointment last October and was questioned under caution on suspicion of conspiracy to illegally intercept voicemails.

Nicknamed “Wolfman”, Mr Wallis was originally arrested in July 2011, days after the News of the World closed, following allegations that it may have hacked the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

Last February, the Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was not enough evidence and released him without charge. Mr Wallis said at the time: “I lost my job, and my family went through hell.”

Later he gave a newspaper interview saying: “The officers hadn't done their basic homework. It was surreal. I was a trophy arrest. Their modus operandi seemed to be if we ask him enough wide-ranging questions, he will end up confessing to something.”

Mr Wallis rose up through the ranks at The Sun before becoming editor of The People - owned by the Mirror Group - and, latterly, deputy editor of the News of the World under Andy Coulson. He maintained close links with many senior officers and admitted personally advising Lord Stevens when he successfully applied for the role of Met Commissioner in 2000.

When the police chief left the Met in 2005, he landed a £5,000-a-week column at the News of the World entitled “The Chief” which was ghost-written by Mr Wallis. The newspaper executive also worked closely with Sir Paul Stephenson and again advised him in his successful application to become Commissioner in 2009.

After he left his position as News of the World deputy editor in the same year, Mr Wallis's company, Chamy Media, was paid £24,000-a-year to give strategic advice to Scotland Yard's directorate of public affairs.

The process by which the contract was awarded led to an investigation into Dick Fedorcio, the Met's powerful head of press.

In his oral evidence at the Leveson Inquiry, Mr Wallis strongly rejected suggestions he sought to get something out of senior officers such as his friend, former Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who resigned shortly after admitting his decision not to investigate phone hacking at the News of the World was “pretty crap”.

“John Stevens is an officer who worked for 40-odd years in the police,” Mr Wallis said. “The suggestion that this man of integrity, of experience, of immense crime-fighting ability is going to be seduced by me taking him down to Cecconi's - I just can't begin to see where that comes from.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “A 63-year-old man, a former journalist, attended a west London police station on Tuesday 15 October by appointment. He was interviewed under caution in connection with suspicion of conspiracy to illegally intercept voicemails. He was not arrested.”

Mr Wallis declined to comment.

 

News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin